Research Report

Ethnomedicine for Epilepsy by the Tribes of Eastern Ghats, Andhra Pradesh  

Sri D. Sandhya , Babu M. Hari , J. Suneetha , Reddy T.V.V. Seetharami
Department of Botany, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam 530003, India
Author    Correspondence author
Medicinal Plant Research, 2017, Vol. 7, No. 3   doi: 10.5376/mpr.2017.07.0003
Received: 12 Jan., 2017    Accepted: 15 Feb., 2017    Published: 06 Aug., 2017
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This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Preferred citation for this article:

Sandhya Sri D., Hari Babu M., Suneetha J., and Seetharami Reddi T.V.V., 2017, Ethnomedicine for epilepsy by the tribes of eastern ghats, Andhra Pradesh, 7(3): 19-25 (doi: 10.5376/mpr.2017.07.0003)

Abstract

The paper deals with 71 species of plants covering 66 genera and 41 families used by the tribes of Eastern Ghats, Andhra Pradesh, for curing epilepsy. Fabaceae is the dominant family with 10 species followed by Liliaceae (4 spp) and others. Herbs are dominant with 30 species followed by shrubs (20 spp), trees (16 spp) and climbers (5 spp). Root is used in 22 practices followed by leaf (18), stem bark (12), whole plant (6), root bark and fruit (4 each), bulb and seed (3 each) and others. Of the total 77 practices 57 involve single plant, 12 with two plants and 4 each with three and four plants. Crotalaria laburnifolia and 31 practices were found to be new or less known.

Keywords
Ethnomedicine; Epilepsy; Tribes; Eastern Ghats; Andhra Pradesh

1 Introduction

The Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh has a vast diverse ethnic groups and rich biodiversity is a great emporium and treasure house of ethnobotanical wealth. The various tribal populations of Eastern Ghats are still practicing herbal remedies for the treatment of their common diseases and disorders. This vast knowledge of tribal people need to be scrutinized and evaluated pharmacologically for development of herbal medicines based on tribal claims. Epilepsy is a major central nervous system disorder and the most important symptom is recurrent unprovoked seizures. In the present paper, an attempt was made to collect information about plants used for the treatment of epilepsy by the tribes inhabiting the Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh. The Eastern Ghats are a long chain of broken hills that pass mainly through Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Tamilnadu states. They run about 1750 km with an average width of about 100 km between Mahanadi and Vaigai rivers along the Indian east coast. In Andhra Pradesh, they are situated between 12⁰ 38’ – 22⁰ N latitudes and 78⁰ 50’ – 84⁰ 46’ E longitudes. The altitudes range from 300 – 1000 m above MSL and the vegetation varies from semi-evergreen to scrub jungle. Bagatasf Chenchus, Jatapus, Khonds, Kondadoras, Kondareddis, Koyas, Lambadas, Porjas, Savaras, Valmikis, Yanadis and Yerukalas are the important tribes that inhabit the forest areas of the Eastern Ghats. It is inhabited by 2,739,919 tribal people (5.53%) as per census 2011. Though there are publications on ethnomedicine for different diseases exclusive studies on epilepsy alone are not available in literature necessitating the present study.

 

2 Material and Methods

Frequent field trips were conducted in tribal inhabited selected villages of Eastern Ghats in Andhra Pradesh during 2000-2011 and gathered information about traditional/indigenous knowledge on detailed application and administration of plant sources for healing epilepsy. Data were collected from vaidyas, elderly people and voucher specimens were collected with their assistance. They were identified by using the Flora of the Presidency of Madras (Gamble, 1916-1935) and the voucher specimens were deposited in the Herbarium of the Department of Botany, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam.

 

3 Enumeration

The data were arranged in a tabular form alphabetically with the vernacular name, followed by voucher number, Latin name, method, mode and duration of the treatment (Table 1).

 

 

Table 1 Ethnomedicinal plants used for epilepsy

 

4 Results and Discussion

The study yielded 71 species of plants covering 66 genera and 41 families used by the tribes of Eastern Ghats, Andhra Pradesh, for curing epilepsy. Fabaceae is the dominant family with 10 species followed by Liliaceae (4 spp); Malvaceae, Caesalpiniaceae, Solanaceae, Zingiberaceae, Poaceae, (each 3 spp), Sapindaceae, Combretaceae, Cucurbitaceae, Asteraceae, Asclepiadaceae, Apocynaceae, Convolvulaceae, Lamiaceae (each 2 spp) and others with one species each. Habit-wise analysis showed the dominance of herbs with 30 species followed by shrubs (20 spp), trees (16 spp) and climbers (5 spp). Morphological analysis showed the maximum utilization of root in 22 practices followed by leaf (18), stem bark (12), whole plant (6), root bark and fruit (4 each), bulb and seed (3 each), rhizome, stem and tuber (2 each) and clove and oil one each. Of the total 77 practices 57 involve single plant only followed by 12 with two plants and 4 each with three and four plants. They are administered either in the form of powder, paste, decoction, juice, soup, pills, extract along with either water, milk, cow milk, honey, blood of black hen. Crotalaria laburnifolia and 31 practices were found to be new or less known (Jain, 1991; Kirtikar and Basu, 2008). Plants used for similar purpose elsewhere are Allium sativum, Eclipta prostrata, Merremia tridentata, Tylophora indica, Vitex negundo by the Yanadi, Nakkala, Irula, Yerukala, Sugali, Chenchu tribes of Chittoor district, Andhra Pradesh (Vedvathy et al., 1997); Evolvulus alsinoides by the Baiga, Gond, Khariya, Panka tribes of Amarakantak region of Madhya Pradesh (Ramesh Kumar et al., 2004); Vitex negundo by the Khasi, Jaintia, Garo tribes of Meghalaya (Dolui et al., 2004) and tribes of Lakshadweep Islands (Ansarali and Sivadasan, 2009); Cuscuta reflexa by Bhil tribe of Ratlam district, Madhya Pradesh (Jadhav, 2006, 2014) and Kandha tribe of Kandhamal district, Orissa (Behera et al., 2006); Acorus calamus, Asparagus racemosus, Bacopa monnieri by the Mullu kuruma tribe of Wayanad district, Kerala (Silja et al., 2008); Acorus calamus by the Khasi tribes of Meghalaya (Hynniewta and Yogendra Kumar, 2008); Moringa oleifera by the Mishing, Deuri, Sonowal-Kachari tribes of Lakhimpur district, Assam (Kalita and Bora, 2008); Asparagus racemosus, Bacopa monnieri by the people in 11 districts of Karnataka (Shiddamallayya et al., 2010), Acorus calamus, Bacopa monnieri in South Orissa (Panda and Misra, 2011); Benincasa hispida by the Kangrian tribe of Kangra Valley of Himachal Pradesh (Arya et al., 2012); Asparagus racemosus by the people of Thiruvananthapuram district, Kerala (Arya et al., 2015). Vartika Jain and Verma (2016) reviewed 159 plants used by different tribes in India to cure epilepsy which includes 31 plants of the present study. The local tribal inhabitants have a strong faith in traditional medicine and are well versed with the utilization of plants in their surroundings through trial and error methods. They are using the preparations from time immemorial without knowing their chemical constituents. The collection, identification and documentation of ethno-medicinal data on biological resources are inevitable steps for bio-prospecting. To understand the therapeutic potential of the traditional medicine, there is a need for more detailed studies on traditional health care practices through pharmacological and clinical interventions.

 

5 Conclusion

The present study provides empirical primary ethnomedicinal data on the use of traditional knowledge to treat epilepsy and can contribute in preserving indigenous knowledge of tribes in Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh. It is anticipated that these primary data will open new avenues to identify novel drugs that can help to alleviate sufferings of mankind.

 

Acknowledgement

The authors are grateful to the tribes of Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh for sharing their valuable knowledge on epilepsy and help during field work.

 

References

Ansarali K.C., and Sivadasan M., 2009, Ethnobotanical investigations in Lakshadweep Islands, India, Ethnobotany, 21: 18-24

 

Arya S., Adarsh G., Anand S.K., Neethu S. Kumar and Santoshkumar R., 2015, Selected medicinally and economically important plants growing in Aruvippuram area of Thiruvananthapuram district, Kerala, India, Journal of Tropical Medicinal Plants, 15: 19-31

 

Arya V., Thakur N., and Kashyap C.P., 2012, Ethnomedicinal plants of Kangra Valley of Himachal Pradesh, India, Journal of Tropical Medicinal Plants, 13: 177-187

 

Behera, Soumit K., Panda A., Behera S.K., and Misra M.K., 2006, Medicinal plants used by the Kandhas of Kandhamal district of Orissa, Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, 5: 519-528

 

Dolui A.K., Sharma H.K., Marien T.B., Lalhriatpuii T., 2004, Folk herbal remedies from Maghalaya, Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, 3: 358-364

 

Gamble J.S., 1916-1935, Flora of the Presidency of Madras, Vol. 1-3, (Vol. 3 by C.E.S. Fischer), Adlard & Sons Ltd., London

 

Hynniewta S.R., and Yogendra Kumar, 2008, Herbal remedies among the Khasi traditional healers and village folks in Meghalaya, Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, 7: 581-586

 

Jadhav D., 2006, Ethnomedicinal plants used by the Bhil tribe of Bibdod, Madhya Pradesh, Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, 5: 263-267

 

Jadhav D., 2014, Ethnomedicinal notes on some poisonous plants used by Bhil tribe of Ratlam district (MP), Ethnobotany, 26: 84-89

 

Jain S.K., 1991, Dictionary of Indian Folk Medicine and Ethnobotany, Deep Publications, New Delhi

 

Kalita, D., and Bora R.L., 2008, Some folk medicines from Lakhimpur district, Assam, Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, 7: 414-416

 

Kirtikar K.R., and Basu B.D., 2008 (Reprinted), Indian Medicinal Plants, International Book Distributors, Dehra Dun, Uttarakhand

 

Panda A., and Misra M.K., 2011, Ethnomedicinal survey of some wetland plants of South Orissa and their conservation, Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, 10: 296-303

 

Ramesh Kumar, Suman N.R., and Dash R.R., 2004, Traditional uses of plants by tribals of Amarakantak region of Madhya Pradesh, Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, 3: 383-390

 

Shiddamallayya N., AzraYasmeen, and Gopakumar K., 2010, Hundred common forest medicinal plants of Karnataka in primary healthcare, Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, 9: 90-95

 

Silja V.P., Samitha Varma K., and Mohanan K.V., 2008, Ethnomedicinal plant knowledge of the Mullu kuruma tribe of Wayanad district, Kerala, Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, 7: 604-612

 

Vartika Jain, and Verma S.K., 2016, Folkloric use of plants for treatment of epilepsy in India, Journal of Traditional Folk Practices, 2, 3, 4: 120-134

 

Vedavathy S., Sudhakar A., and Mrdula V., 1997, Tribal medicinal plants of Chittoor, Ancient Science of Life, 16: 307-330

 

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